On the occasion of a conference between the US - AEF, supreme headquarters AEF (Allied Expeditionary Forces) and AACS (Army Airways Communication Service) in the end of 1944 it had been concluded how the air routes structure in preparation on the invasion and subsequent support and supply should look like.
This Plan required 1500 military AACS radio operators, telecommunication technicians and air traffic controllers of all kinds with 12 mobile units and 41 AACS stations for mostly mobile deployment in the invasion. The radio operators had to maintain the complete message traffic during the invasion, while the technicians and forward air controllers had to move with the progressing front to set up mobile radio stations and navigation aids.
The whole mission of the 5th AACS Wing was conducted under the code name of FRANTIC. The backbone of the planned air attacks was the establishment of a far reaching direction finder network, which was formed by station WURC at Capodichino in Italy via London all the way to Poltava station (JMBP) in the Soviet Union. The overall structure as set up by AACS covered the area from the USA and Canada via Greenland and Iceland to Great Britain, from the USA via South-America to Africa (Dakar), Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Italy, Greece and via Turkey up to Teheran in Persia. The permanent North Atlantic flight tracks were used by thousands of aircraft, mainly eastbound.
Paris-Orly became the main station with the aeronautical telecommunication and flight control (ATC) centre „Orly Airways“. The Eiffel tower became a radio station. This lead to an air route network over France served by eight radio ranges at Dijon, Brest, Le Treport, Lyon, Creil, Barfleur, Paris and Marseille. Meanwhile four permanent air routes existed from England via the Channel to France, with one branch each to Brussels and Marseille, as well as later on to Frankfurt and Berlin.
In spring 1945 the 5th AACS Wing accepted responsibility with its Paris-Orly centre over the air navigation services in all countries of West-Europe, except the neutral states. Subordinate centres operated from London, Brussels and Marseille. Over the Channel air traffic control service was implemented issuing assigned flight altitudes, time-based longitudinal separation between flights (IFR separation) and requiring maintenance of radio contact and position reports. „Air Traffic Control“ was reborn!
The Development of Air Navigation in West Germany after 1945
Vol 2, The first ten years - when nobody knew Air Traffic Control (ATC) existed
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